Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) doctoral candidate Ms. Virginia Fisher has been selected as the winner from North America in the International Biometric Conference (IBC) 2018 Young Statistician Showcase Competition.
She was offered an award of $3,000 and invited to present her paper, “Genetic Fine Mapping Incorporating Functional Annotation: A Random Effects Approach,” in the Young Statistician Showcase Session at IBC’s 29th annual meeting in Barcelona on July 10.
The paper, which is part of her dissertation, examines a method to pinpoint the specific casual variant in a genetic region found to be associated with a trait of interest. “The basic way we do genetic association studies is to test the relationship between the trait and each variant one at a time,” she says. “But actually, the variants aren’t independent of each other because they’re inherited in chunks.” In the paper, Ms. Fisher and co-authors put forward a new method, which uses external information about the biological function of each variant to prioritize the ones with a plausible mechanism for their effect on the trait.
The International Biometric Conference (IBC) is sponsored by the International Biometric Society, which promotes the development and application of statistical and mathematical theory and methods in the biosciences, including agriculture, biomedical science and public health, ecology, environmental sciences, forestry, and allied disciplines.